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Why are endometrial cancer rates increasing in younger Hispanic women?

Hispanic women had the highest uterine (endometrial) cancer rates among U.S. women ages 35 to 39 in 2018, double what was found in White women. And researchers say cases have been rising a steady 4 percent each year since 2001.

“Most cases of uterine cancer happen in the post-menopausal stage,” says Monica Avila, MD (above), a gynecologic oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. “The concern is that this cancer is not only rising, but rising in patients who are premenopausal and in their younger reproductive ages.”

Currently about 66,000 women each year are being diagnosed, Avila says. “By the year 2030, this could almost double to 122,000 cases, which is ridiculous”

Obesity and diabetes are two known factors that can raise a woman’s risk of uterine cancer. Both conditions are found disproportionately in Hispanic people. In the United States, Hispanic adults have a 17 percent risk of developing diabetes compared to 8 percent in White adults. And 78 percent of Hispanic American women are overweight or obese, compared to 64 percent of White women.

“We might be looking at a new era where we’re taking out uteri just to prevent cancer,” cautions Avila.

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